Alex McQueen on re-signing for UnitedWe caught up with defender Alex McQueen on Friday morning following the breaking of the news that he'd rejoined the club on a one-month deal.
“I’m very happy to come back,” he said. “I’m excited for the new challenges and hopefully to helping us achieve promotion.
“A lot of things have changed since the summer. I was taking a lot of advice which, it’s fair to say, was wrong advice. I got in touch with the gaffer and I spoke to him quite a lot, which meant that I came back in, and now I’ve signed a new contract.
“It’s definitely a lesson learned, but hopefully we can all now move on. It’s been a learning curve for me and I think I’ve matured. I owe a lot to the manager. I never turned my back on Carlisle, or said anything bad about the club, because I’ve loved the club since I first came here and that’s why I wanted to come back.
"I spoke to the gaffer on the phone and came up to meet him. It was always better when it was just us two and it got sorted much quicker than it did in the summer."
“The last six months or so have definitely been a test," he admitted. "It’s hard because all I want to do is play football. I was sitting at home every day almost losing my head because I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was delighted when the gaffer said I could come back up and we could take it from there.
“I don’t know if he was joking, but my dad actually said I would have to get a job at one point. I just sort of looked at him because I didn’t want to think about that. As long as I can play football it’s all I want to do - I don’t want to do anything else."
“What happened in the summer wasn’t about me wanting to be closer to home or anything like that," he explained. "It was more about what I was being told to do.
"It wasn’t about going back home. I came up here in the first place because distance doesn’t really come into it for me. I was told a lot of things during the summer, but whether they were true or not is another thing. I probably won’t be taking advice from the same person again anytime soon."
“My target now is definitely to get a longer contract," he admitted. "The month I've been given is an opportunity which I’m thankful for. When January comes we’ll look at it again.
"A month isn’t a long time but we’ve got seven games to play and hopefully I can get a chance and impress. I’ve been working hard with Lee Fearn and he’s had me doing loads of stuff on Saturday mornings, both before matches and after our training sessions. I feel fit and ready to play.
“When I first came up I had to work really hard because the boys had done pre-season and they were all very fit. The new signings came in and they’re all brilliant players, so the level was always going to be higher.
“The level has definitely gone up since last year and I know it will be hard to get in the team. We’re top of the league and doing really well. I’ve watched a few of the games home and away and I’m just excited to be involved."
“I just want to play games and hopefully improve the team in any way I can," he said. "I’ll work hard and hopefully we can stay at the top of the table and get promoted. I want to play as many games as I can and get as many minutes on the pitch as I can."
Looking back at his highlights from last season, he said: "The stand out game has to be the Liverpool game. That’s probably the highlight of my life so far! I enjoyed the QPR game, and also Leyton Orient away, but there were a lot of enjoyable games last season.
“I’m definitely looking forward to playing in front of our fans again. They’ve been good with me around the city and things like that since I’ve been back. They haven’t really had anything negative to say about me personally, so hopefully I can repay them on the pitch.
“The summer dragged out a bit and I understand why the fans were questioning things. It wasn’t a nice situation for me to be in either, but hopefully I can repay them on the pitch and I’m always happy to talk to people around town and things like that. I just want to repay everyone for having faith in me, bringing me back and supporting me from the side lines.”